Posted by AssyrianVoice4Peace from ? (188.8.131.52) on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 at 12:39PM :
Published on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 by the Toronto Star
Iraq Invasion Will Trigger 'Human
Catastrophe,' Report Warns
by George Edmondson
WASHINGTON -- A report to be released today predicts that an invasion of
Iraq could lead to a "human catastrophe" with casualties as high as 250,000
within the first three months.
"Collateral Damage: The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq"
was prepared largely by Medact, the British affiliate of International
Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The U.S. affiliate, Physicians
for Social Responsibility, also was involved. Most of the estimated casualties
would be Iraqi civilians caught in the bombing, said Bob Schaeffer, a
spokesman in Massachusetts for the International Physicians organization. It
was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for what the committee called
its "considerable service to mankind by spreading authoritative information
and by creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of atomic
The study also looks at the impact of an invasion on the public health system
and necessities such as agriculture, water and energy, he said.
"We're saying that there'll be a very large short-term impact and an even
more profound longer-term impact," Schaeffer said. "The report uses the
word `human catastrophe' even if it does not escalate to the level of poison
gas, civil war or nuclear weapons.''
The estimates of casualties, he said, range from a low of 50,000 up to
James Snyder, spokesman in Washington for Physicians for Social
Responsibility, said the report utilizes information about likely Iraq invasion
scenarios as well as knowledge gleaned from study of the 1991 Persian Gulf
War and U.S. actions in Somalia and Panama.
Schaeffer said physicians associated with the international organization also
had made some inspection tours, and their findings were factored in.
"The estimates and ranges are based on sound science and previous
experience," Snyder said.
There has not been much public data on the extent of possible casualties
from an invasion of Iraq.
A number of experts at the Pentagon and elsewhere have discussed the
possibility of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein using human shields and placing
military targets within civilian sites, such as hospitals and schools.
Ibrahim Al-Marashi, an analyst at the Monterey Institute of International
Studies in California who favors an invasion, said such estimates are
extremely difficult because there are so many variables about how a war
"The way Saddam would respond is such a wild card in this," he added.
Copyright 1996-2002. Toronto Star Newspapers Limited
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